The Discretionary Funds of PWC: Where’s the beef?
Many folks have contacted us about the PWC discretionary funds that are given to the PWC BOCS. Last week the Committee of 100 dedicated an entire evening to discussion about this practice. What are discretionary funds? Money that the supervisors get to pay for office, staff, supplies, charity and regional arts and entertainment. They can spend some, all or none of it. Before it goes to items not part of keeping the office, the supervisors announce their intentions a meeting before they donate. Usually the other supervisors rubber stamp their approval. I can’t ever remember when that didn’t happen.
Many citizens feel that this practice is just playing too loosey goosey with county funds. Others feel that the supervisors act like they are pulling out their personal checkbook and resent that there is no mention of the taxpayers when these donations are made.
The topic of discretionary funds came to a head when Supervisor Wally Covington attempted to give $100,000 to a charity run by his wife. The citizens and blogosphere errupted and Mr. Covington rightly pulled in his intention announcement. This episode in PWC history left residents with more determination than ever to put an end to the discretionary fund practice. The problem is, which of the supervisors will willingly give up the ‘keys to the safe?’ Will they be willing to vote themselves out of discretionary funds? Furthermore, PWC is the only county in the area that uses this financial system of public funds. What is a better way to handle this kinds of money. It also brings up the question of county support for charities and other worthwhile endeavors. Who gets money from the public coffers and who doesn’t?
Your input is greatly needed.